In the summer of 1908, the freelance fossil hunter Charles H. Sternberg and his three sons, George, Levi, and Charles, were on the hunt for dinosaur fossils in Wyoming. George and Levi found a skeleton in sandstone. When the duo made the discovery, however, the family had only potatoes left to eat,...
October 28, 2008 | By Brian Switek
Happy migration season, everyone!The one consolation of fall's creeping cold and darkness is that you might see very weird birds this time of year. Birds you wouldn't normally see because they nest far to the north and spend the winter far to the south.And birds, of course, are just latter-day dino...
October 27, 2008 | By Laura Helmuth
For the past year, I had been looking forward to meeting some of my friends and colleagues from the paleo-blogosphere at the 68th annual meeting of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology in Ohio, but I sadly could not attend. Fortunately for me (and the rest of us who couldn’t be there), some of t...
October 23, 2008 | By Brian Switek
Long before the dinosaurs were scientifically described in the early 19th century, their tracks were known. The strange footprints inspired Native American legends and were said to be “turkey tracks” by some European settlers. The first scientific studies of the tracks concluded that they had been ...
October 22, 2008 | By Brian Switek
How did the giant sauropod dinosaurs, the long-necked earth-shakers like Apatosaurus and Brachiosaurus, get to be so big? That has been one of the most vexing questions in all of paleobiology. These dinosaurs were the largest animals to ever walk on the surface of the earth. Some of the largest, li...
October 20, 2008 | By Brian Switek
Many kinds of hadrosaurs, plant-eating dinosaurs often called the “cows of the Mesozoic,” sported impressive crests. From the short, dome-shaped “helmet” of Corythosaurus to the long tube-shaped crest of Parasaurolophus, these hadrosaurs have long puzzled scientists. What was all that fancy headgea...
October 17, 2008 | By Brian Switek
When you purchase some frozen chicken from the supermarket, you are really buying the frosted remains of a living dinosaur. Over the past decade an abundance of fossils from China has convincingly illustrated that birds evolved from small, predatory dinosaurs, and even the giant Tyrannosaurs might ...
October 16, 2008 | By Brian Switek
Consider the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Length: 42 feet. Weight: 7 tons. Length of teeth: 6 inches.Length of arms: 3 feet.Even as a child, I marveled at this indignity—that one of the fiercest predators ever to stalk the earth, the “King of the Tyrant Lizards,” should be endowed with such comical, stubby f...
October 08, 2008 | By Mark Strauss
Debate rages over an Indonesian fossil find
July 2008 | By Guy Gugliotta
Dating the Fossils and Artifacts that Mark the Great Human Migration
July 2008 | By Sarah Zielinski
Footprints at one of the nation's oldest—and most fought over—fossil beds offer new clues to how the behemoths lived
May 2008 | By Genevieve Rajewski
Biologist Beth Shapiro has figured out a recipe for success in the field of ancient DNA research
October 2007 | By Andrew Curry
Two fossils found in Kenya raise evolutionary questions
August 01, 2007 | By Robin T. Reid
Fossils tell a new story about the diversity of hominid diets
November 01, 2006 | By Eric Jaffe
The "missing link?" At least a step in a new direction
June 2006 | By Laura Helmuth
Research suggests the so-called brutes fashioned tools, buried their dead, maybe cared for the sick and even conversed. But why, if they were so smart, did they disappear?
June 2003 | By Joe Alper
Irrepressible Louis Leakey, patriarch of the fossil-hunting family, championed the search for human origins in Africa, attracting criticism and praise
October 2002 | By Roger Lewin
A Smithsonian scientist studies the relationship between Eocene insects and the plants they ate
June 1999 | By William Cannon